MediaSoundHamburg: where talented sound designers and composers meet film industry professionals

Buma Music in Motion New Talent Award winners Rinkie Bartels and Gijs Knol have just returned from their week at MediaSoundHamburg (9 aug – 18 aug). We asked them a few questions about their experience.

One of the prizes you won as BMIM New Talent was a scholarship for MediaSoundHamburg. Could you tell us about what MSH is and how you experienced it?

Rinkie: MSH is an annual summer school where talented sound designers and composers meet to study under film industry professionals. As a participant you can take part in numerous workshops and attend forums regarding new developments in the film and videogame industry and the corporate side of our field. Both the workshops and the forums are interactive and provide plenty opportunities to network with interesting colleagues and professionals.
Gijs: I experienced it as an enrichment of my pre-existing knowledge of our field. I’ve gathered a lot of inspiration that I can immediately apply to my own work.

Which parts of the program have you attended and what was your opinion on them?

Rinkie: We have participated in three workshops: Sound Design, Foley Artist and Film Composition. Sound Design and Film Composition were of course a given, because that is our field. We chose Foley Artist because it was new to us and we were interested in exploring a new side of the industry. All three of the workshops were three-day programs, so our schedule was packed! We started with the workshop Sound Design by Randy Thom, known for being the sound supervisor on Forrest Gump, The Revenant, Despicable Me and other box office hits. He showed us the role you play as a sound supervisor, how to communicate with directors and editors and how much influence you have on the final product. A very interesting and informative workshop. We both felt like we were back in college for a minute, but everything Randy covered was very relevant to us and we got to experiment with several recordings and briefs.
Gijs: Randy is an exceptionally smart and experienced individual who granted us a very valuable insight in the world of sound design. Lots of tips & tricks! In particular I enjoyed the ‘soundwalk’ during which the attendees were invited to record their own sounds to edit and use in productions.
Rinkie: Our second workshop, Foley Artist, was led by Sue Harding and Adam Mendéz. Sue is a well-known foley artist and Adam is a mixer with his own studio in England. Together they have worked on big-name Hollywood productions, ranging form animation to real-life actions movies.
Gijs: Sue and Adam are an amazing and dynamic team who worked on films like Gravity and Jurassic Park.
Rinkie: To our amusement this workshop was filled with assignments. We were challenged to find and record our own foley sounds for an animated film.
Gijs: On the second day of the workshop we visited HAW Hamburg’s foley studio to record foley in a professional environment for a few productions as an exercise.

Rinkie: We created new sounds for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I knew a thing or two about foley, but when Sue and Adam showed us their process they surprised me with how intensive it was. Contrary to my expectations, the great majority of sounds were not from libraries, but were recorded specifically for the film by the foley artists and how much of an impact they have on the ambiance of the film.
Rinkie: The final workshop we attended was Film Composition by Kristian Eidnes Andersen. We were very much looking forward to this, especially because Kristian is a little bit less mainstream Hollywood and more experimental with his own characteristic view on composing. His work on Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Nymphomania shows what a big part music and sound design plays in these films and how interesting the collaboration between director and composer can be. It’s inspiring to see how someone who isn’t preoccupied with the desires of the average moviegoer works in the service of the film itself and therefore can opt to stay very minimalistic. In his work composition and sound design are an extension of each other and that is something we strive for in our own work.
Gijs: Kristian provided us with very valuable information as a composer. Lots of insights regarding working with directors and the creative process. He gave us excellent assignments which the attendees provided with feedback among ourselves.
Rinkie: All in all it was a jam-packed week, with very talented participants and inspiring workshop instructors who were all very open and approachable.

Have you acquired new international relations, and if so, will they lead to new assignments or collaborations?

Rinkie: It was mostly ten days of impressions, learning, seeing, hearing and chatting with other participants who were involved in their own interesting projects. We’ll have to wait and see if we get some assignments out of it, but in any case we have received many nice compliments on our diverse portfolio.
Gijs: I’ve spoken with many others in the field, predominantly form Germany. I expect to maintain contact with them and perhaps it will result in some nice collaborations.
Rinkie: We were also given the opportunity for a short presentation on our work for the Anne Frank Stichting, for which we received the BMIM New Talent Award. This was a great way for pitching our work, but I don’t know if a conference room full of competitors is the best place for that. We’ll have to see what the future holds!

Has MSH pleasantly surprised you? If so, in what ways?

Rinkie: Very much so, see my answers to the second question, haha!
Gijs: The high level of all attending participants and the how openly the workshop professionals work and share their experience with you.

Thanks Rinkie and Gijs for sharing!
You can find more about Rinkie and Gijs and their work at:
www.rinkiebartels.com
www.gijsknol.nl

© August 2019